In recent years, with the advent of mass survey chest x-rays, the emphasis placed upon diagnosis of pulmonary pathology,* and the increasing incidence of neoplasm, the subject of lung cancer has received widespread attention. Fortunately, the primary effort has been directed toward early diagnosis and therapy because of the severity of this lesion. With the emphasis on case finding, the problem of demonstrating abnormal tissue for diagnosis prior to surgery has fallen upon the endoscopist. Unfortunately, in many early lung lesions, direct examination with the bronchoscope shows little or no evidence of neoplastic activity. In such cases biopsy becomes haphazard and of doubtful value.
It is in these cases that directed, excoriating aspirations of small tissue fragments and cell clumps have proved to be of great value. The diagnosis of lung neoplasms by bronchoscopic examination has showed disparity in positive results, varying from 30% to as high as 80%.† Because
GREGG JB, MERKEL BM, CROSS KR. Endobronchial Placer Mining for Neoplastic Cells. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;61(3):267–276. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.00720020282001